Cisco Meraki Systems Manager (MDM+EMM) Review

A stable and scalable solution that allows you to pre-configure the devices before you get them into the company

What is our primary use case?

We use location analytics to display real-time location statistics to improve customer engagement and loyalty across all the sites. It's built into the Cisco Meraki APs at no additional cost. That's one of the things that a lot of clients like. 

The data is collected by the APs, and it syncs to the Cisco Meraki cloud. This is automatically reported to the dashboard and reveals visitor traffic, trends, dwell time, news, and also repeat visitor loyalty. A lot of stores use it for this particular reason: they can gather information from repeat visitors. They can also locate single repeat visitors.

How has it helped my organization?

The Systems Manager provides over-the-air centralized management, diagnostics, and monitoring for mobile devices. It's managed by the organizations. If someone else needs to manage it, he/she can do it through Meraki cloud. However, it's usually managed by the organization itself with the use of its own protocol. It can be done on iPads, Androids, Macs, and PCs. The Systems Manager monitors each of your organization's devices, and it shows useful metrics like client hardware/software information, recent location, etc. that binds into your analytics and even lets administrators remotely lock and erase the devices.

It protects devices and their data, and it will also control usage with a passcode policy. Every device will have a passcode policy. This restricts employee access to, for example, app stores, gaming, and so on during work hours.

What is most valuable?

I have found the location analytics feature that is built into the APs to be the most valuable. It allows you to compare data and to single out individuals who are repeatedly coming into your store. We can observe different trends. This is what separates it from a lot of the other solutions. 

You can have a passcode policy to restrict access and can enable device restrictions and stop people from being able to use cameras. You can allow screen capture, automatic sync when roaming, and the use of a virtual assistant, or you can actually shut all these things down as well.

What needs improvement?

The cost of installing this solution can be more expensive depending on who is doing the installation. Cisco is very expensive, and I'd like to see a reduction in cost.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Cisco Meraki Systems Manager (MDM+EMM) for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution scales extremely well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been prompt and very good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward because they'll send you a license first, along with a username, and you get to create your password. You can go into the user dashboard before you ever get the Meraki devices sent to you and start to configure them. Everything can be configured within the dashboard itself. Once your system arrives and you're attached to the network, it will automatically report to the dashboard. The dashboard, in turn, will push out all the configurations to the devices. Everything can be pre-configured.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The setup cost can be expensive depending on who is doing the installation. Licensing can be done on a monthly basis. A lot of clients prefer to use the cloud-based option.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this solution at ten.

If you want something that's going to work and scale very well, and allow you to pre-configure the devices before you get them into the company, then Cisco Meraki Systems Manager (MDMEMM) is a great option. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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